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Water quality in the Missouri River alluvial aquifer near the Independence, Missouri, well field, 1997–2018

May 17, 2022

Groundwater-quality data collected from 1997 through 2018 from 68 monitoring locations open to the Missouri River alluvial aquifer (hereafter referred to as the “alluvial aquifer”) near the Independence, Missouri, well field were analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Independence, Missouri. This analysis was done to assess the quality of the water in the alluvial aquifer near the well field, identify trends in water quality in the alluvial aquifer from 1997 through 2018, assess hydraulic interaction between the Missouri River and the groundwater system, identify potential threats to the potability of the water extracted from the well field, and identify ways to improve the monitoring effort. Water-quality data indicate that water from the Missouri River recharges the alluvial aquifer. Recharge is exacerbated by pumping from the well field so that the quality of the water pumped from the well field is similar to that of the river for many constituents. Water-quality data indicate that the alluvial aquifer is under oxygen- and nitrate-reducing conditions, and iron- and manganese-reducing conditions are present in most of the alluvial aquifer. Sulfate-reducing conditions are present along the northern and western parts of the monitoring network north of the Missouri River. Maximum contaminant levels for antimony, arsenic, barium, lead, selenium, and uranium were exceeded in at least one sample, and the median concentrations of arsenic exceeded the maximum contaminant level in several monitoring wells on the periphery of the well field. Secondary maximum contaminant levels were exceeded for iron, manganese, and sulfate in multiple wells. Low concentrations of a variety of organic compounds, primarily derived from recharge from the Missouri River with lesser amounts potentially derived from application at land surface in the study area, are present in the alluvial aquifer and in water extracted from the well field.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Water quality in the Missouri River alluvial aquifer near the Independence, Missouri, well field, 1997–2018
DOI 10.3133/sir20225027
Authors Robert T. Kay, Heather M. Krempa, Katie M. Hulsey
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2022-5027
Index ID sir20225027
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Midwest Water Science Center